NOTES ON COLLECTING CORTINARIUS
|COLLECTION CHOICE : Material that is worth working with needs to have fruitbodies that show the True Color of the species. Young buttons are very desirable too, but not always available. There is absolutely no point to collect old, browned-out fruitbodies.|
Please show all relevant details -- see examples of some Cortinarius Group
Portraits. Collections without a
good photo serve no useful purpose.
a) Cap and Surface Detail -- it is important to see if there are veil patches, and appreciate the type of pileal covering.
b) Gills -- check the attachment (typically sinuate) and also whether the edges are even.
c) Context -- the coloration and potential discoloration of the context are critical diagnostic characters.
d) Veil color -- veil color is a critical diagnostic feature, but it is not always apparent when buttons are not available. It can be judged by other means, l;ike remnants on the stipe, bulb, etc.
Cortinarius are ectomycorrhizal fungi. Please make basic notes on the
habitat in order to guesstimate the possible tree hosts. One doesn't need to
do a botanic treatise, but just to note the type of the dominant tree flora.
Conifer -- some basic idea of the kind of conifers is important. There are huge differences between Douglas Fir, Coastal Pines, Montane Pines, True Firs, Spruce, Hemlock. This can be very critical diagnostic feature. In the Spruce parts of California we see different Corts than in the Live Oak Mediterranean part...
Broadleaved -- specify the basic trees -- Oak, Tanoak, Madrone, Manzanita, California Bay, etc.
Mixed -- still some basic idea is important -- is it a typical Inland Pine/Oak, or the Coastal Redwood/Doug Fir/Tanoak. A note on the presence/absence of Tanoak is very important
Various macrochemical reactions are recorded for Cortinarius, but the
color effects of KOH are critically important. This is particularly
for the fleshy members of Subgenus Phlegmacium. The coloration
falls into 4 main groups: None, Brown, Yellow or Pink/Red. Making a note of
these, or pictures (far preferred) can immediately places the
collection in the right Section and minimize a lot of cold Id effort. Please
apply the KOH to the following surfaces:(1) Pileus (2) Context
(3) Bulb (if present), (4) Mycelial strands (if present).